North Korea threatens cyber attacks on US

The country has reacted to news it was the target of a Stuxnet-like attack

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North Korea has responded to a report that it was the target of an unsuccessful Stuxnet-style cyber attack by threatening a cyber attack of its own against the US.

In an article published in the country's largest daily newspaper on Tuesday, North Korea said it would wage a cyber war against the US to hasten its ruin. Such bellicose threats are fairly common in North Korean media and aren't always followed by action, but when it comes to cyber attacks, the country has been blamed for several large attacks in the past.

Most have been against South Korea, but the country was also publicly accused by the US government of being behind last year's devastating attack against Sony Pictures.

"The DPRK can react to any forms of wars, operations and battles sought by the U.S. imperialists," the article said, using the acronym for the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"It is the firm determination of the DPRK to wage Korean-style cyber war to hasten the final ruin of the U.S. and the forces following it, who attempted to bring down the former with the cyber war," it said.

The article was published on page 6 of the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the ruling Workers Party of Korea and a key propaganda mouthpiece.

In late May, Reuters reported that the US had attempted a cyber attack against North Korea's nuclear weapons program five years ago, similar to the Stuxnet attack that damaged thousands of centrifuges used by Iran's nuclear program at about the same time.

The attack against North Korea was unsuccessful because the virus couldn't gain access to North Korea's nuclear computer network, Reuters said, quoting intelligence sources.

"The US is greatly mistaken if it thinks the DPRK will just overlook with folded arms the provocations in the cyber space," the Rodong Sinmun said.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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